Album Review: Hank Von Hell – “Egomania”
It’s fair to say that the former Hank Von Helvete re-emerging from the rock ‘n’ roll swamp is one of the more unexpected, but welcome, developments of 2018. After his departure from Turbonegro almost a decade ago on the back of some pretty major drug issues, he announced he would be retiring from the music business to get his life in order.
Evidently you can’t keep a good deathpunk down though, and the return of the newly-rechristened Hank Von Hell sees him pretty much pick up the baton straight from where he left off. 2018 saw Hank’s former Turbonegro bandmates taking their sound off into new poppier areas on their “Rock ‘n’ Roll Machine” album, and while they did this pretty damn well, “Egomania” should be a tonic for any fans out there who are missing the band’s old trademark sound.
Quite simply, “Egomania” is ten slices of full-throttle snarling punked-up rock ‘n’ roll just like Turbonegro used to do in the early noughties when they were at their commercial peak. Even the song titles (“Bum To Bum”, “Pretty Decent Exposure”, “Bombwalk Chic”) mark out that this really couldn’t be anyone other than Hank.
The key though is that Von Hell has got a tight band behind him who can do these songs justice – “Too High” and “Blood” kick arse just like they should, “Wild Boy Blues” is full on cock-rock, and the ominous “Never Again” well and truly bludgeons you with its heaviness. Admittedly, it’s nothing you wouldn’t expect with the only curveballs coming via the aforementioned “Never Again” and the lurching spaghetti western style closer “Adios (Where’s My Sombrero?)”, but if the formula ain’t broke then why would you want to fix it?
Welcome back Hank – we’ve missed ya.
A triumphant return from the one-time prince of deathrock, "Egomania" sees Hank simply getting down to business and doing what he does best - strutting, arse-kicking and slightly ridiculous punked up rock 'n' roll. With a tight and focused band behind him and a clutch of killer tunes to hand, this should definitely be a decent last minute Christmas present for the Turbonegro fan in your life.